Applying a rational framework to foreign policy

Selim Ibraimi- Implementing a realistic foreign policy in certain periods of global uncertainty is quite a difficult mission. While globalization and new technology are reducing the capacities of fragile states to become important actors in international politics, the dependence between the big and the weak continues. Historically, small states have sought a refuge or a shield from the big ones in global politics. Sometimes, for better or worse, such a structural link presents a challenge to small states that are forced to take responsibility for alliances and agreements with the big ones. And this risk becomes even greater when powerful states decide to enter into conflicts with other states. From here it can be seen that international politics is only an interest of states, where governments try to preserve economic, religious, and ideological interests. As is known in the last 100 years, wars and post-war conditions have created new socio-political and economic circumstances for states that have been the source of permanent wars, which later the same states have try to impose changes in foreign policy, with emphasis on conflict zones. To avoid post-war politics and friction diplomacy with everyone, a government must build a rational framework in foreign policy.
We can start with this question and dilemma from the Balkans to Eastern Europe, where the diplomacy and foreign policy of countries must be done carefully, due to the instability that exists from the Baltic to the south of the Balkans. The underestimation of a state’s realistic foreign policy by groups and circles within a government can lead to numerous mistakes and misunderstandings in foreign relations. And sometimes it can have opposite effects in some bilateral and multilateral agreements. To have a good foreign policy, a government must have proper statesmen and skilled diplomats in foreign affairs. In addition, a state must have a clear vision for world affairs, and for the challenges that other states present in regional and international politics. They must know the limitations and power that the state possesses. The more realistic they are, the easier they can develop a foreign policy. With a new approach to events, complex issues, and a realistic framework, states can prevent new crises with neighboring countries. They can overcome many misunderstandings even with powerful states that have the right to veto all international institutions. As we know, small states, sometimes even with a careful foreign policy, can face difficulties in international affairs or in solving inter-neighborly issues such as historical disputes, membership in international organizations, etc., etc. In this case, the only way to achieve security and stability is to call for mediation by international organizations where the big states are part or founders of these organizations. By becoming part of international organizations, state governments can address issues more easily (Kosovo and North Macedonia can be taken as an examples). In a time of geopolitical fog, countries with no voice in world politics tend to go around powerful countries due to the lack of economic and military strength, such as the EU, NATO, the US, and others that make up the BRICS. Since in such cases, states with complicated identity histories and internal ethno-religious problems present unlimited geographical risk, then the implementation of the rational model should be seen as the most practical approach in foreign policy. Governments must evaluate which option best serves a cross-neighborly purpose rather than using other options that require time and backtracking. Here we can take North Macedonia to Greece as an example. In this case, the recent efforts of the newly elected president Gordana Silajnovska-Davkova should be highlighted as a way to create new circumstances in the relations between the two countries, i.e. a new foreign policy. By creating new conditions, it is hoped that a different foreign policy with the neighbors will be formulated. However, such an undertaking steps without an analysis, may extremely harm North Macedonia. However, it soon proved that such actions tend to become part of a foreign policy later. Projects emanating from nationalist academic circles, and post-election campaigns with the smell of irredentism, may bring new concerns in official Skopje’s relations not only with Sofia and Athens. Therefore, the implementation of a rational foreign policy must be done according to the circumstances. They exist in time, not according to ideas that do not find support from outside. In addition, we can continue with the study of North Macedonia’s relations with Greece and Bulgaria, Serbia-Kosovo relations, or Kosovo’s relations with the US and the EU. In both cases, such as Kosovo and North Macedonia, they should rely on the use of realistic frameworks in foreign policy and not on embracing unfeasible plans.

The article was written exclusively for Portalb. mk. The publication rights belong only to Portalb. mk and the author, according to their agreement.